|Re-1J School District awarded technology grant|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
Great news for Holyoke School Dist. Re-1J was reported by technology committee chair Stefan Betley at the April 19 school board meeting.
A $40,000 one-to-one match grant for interactive white board study was awarded to the district by the Morgridge Family Foundation. Betley praised the grant-writing effort of teacher Laura Loutensock.
As a result of the grant award, the district will be able to spend right around $93,000 on technology.
This includes $40,000 from the Morgridge Foundation grant, $46,000 designated in the mill levy override question 3B which passed last November, $4,000 from Holyoke Education Foundation which pledged to give 10 percent of any award received and $3,000 from Partners in Education (PIE) from funds raised at the recent carnival.
Betley said the technology committee was scheduled to meet April 26 to set parameters on how they want to spend that money.
Elementary Principal Kyle Stumpf said he had heard from a grant application representative about how the Holyoke application stood out. It was pulled out and put on top to be used as a basis for evaluating other applications.
Larger districts had professional grant writers complete their applications, and Stumpf praised Loutensock for her stand-out effort on Holyoke’s application.
Tech committee reviews student management systems
Betley also reported the technology committee recently heard presentations from two companies with regard to student management systems to replace Goedustar.
The group liked Infinite Campus, and Betley outlined advantages of the system.
Standards-based report cards can be used on the system, but so can traditional-based cards. Committee members also liked the quality of prepared reports and the fact gradebooks and assignments can be reused.
From the parent side, Betley said the system is easy to understand. Teachers can send out individual flash e-mail reports, and they’ll have the ability to use software with all kinds of technology, including iPhones, iPads and more.
Infinite Campus serves 75 percent of all school districts in Colorado, said Betley. He added most districts that have used the product two or more years don’t switch.
When a student is entered in the system in kindergarten, the file can be transferred when they move to JR/SR High. The district will be able to get historical data in a system that is far superior to what is currently being used, added Betley.
An optional item in the Infinite Campus program involves phone notification and lunch system detail.
Betley noted if the district would opt to purchase this, they could discontinue the contract with Blackboard Connect for phone notification.
Tech support through Computer Information Concepts in Greeley would run about $7,000 annually, which is around $2,000 higher than what the district currently pays for Goedustar tech support, said Betley.